About the authors

Welcome to the blog for Insight Kansas, the central link repository for statewide syndicated columns on Kansas politics by political scientists in Kansas.  Insight Kansas’ columns are published weekly.

Our writers:

Bob and Shatner

Dr. Bob Beatty is a Professor of Political Science at Washburn University and political analyst for KSNT-TV in Topeka. Bob writes and conducts research on various aspects of American and Kansas politics and is the writer and producer of the 2005 documentary “The Kansas Governor”  and editor of the special series on Kansas Governors that has appeared in “Kansas History Journal.” He is currently working on a book on the last fifty years of Kansas Governors. Dr. Beatty lectures extensively on American politics and in the last few years has been a Visiting Lecturer for the U.S. State Department on lecture tours of Russia, Mongolia, and China.

Dr. Russell Arben Fox is a Professor of Political Science at Friends University in Wichita, KS, were he directs the History & Politics major, the Model United Nations program, and the University Honors program. A native of Spokane Valley, WA, he, his wife Melissa, and their four daughters have called Wichita homes since 2006. His teaching areas include American politics, comparative politics, political theory, constitutional law, environmental politics and sustainability; his research areas are currently focused on the particular problems and opportunities which face mid-sized cities.

Dr. Sharon Hartin Iorio is a Professor of Communication and Dean Emerita of the Wichita State University College of Education.  She began her teaching career at Norman High School, Norman, OK.  Dr. Iorio has written numerous referred and non-referred articles, authored one book, edited a second book that received a first-place award from the National Federation of Press Women and was lead author of Connecting High-Quality Educators with Urban Students, published in 2017.  She has spoken to eight international conferences, 50 national conferences and a variety of civic groups on the topics of mass communication and education.  Dr. Iorio was principal investigator of the U.S. Department of Education Wichita Teacher Quality Partnership grant.

Dr. Nishani Frazier is Associate Professor of History and American Studies at the University of Kansas. Prior to Kansas, she held positions as Associate Curator of African American History and Archives at Western Reserve Historical Society, Assistant to the Director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Archives at the Martin Luther King Center for Nonviolent Social Change, and personal assistant for Dr. John Hope Franklin, before and during his tenure as chair of President Bill Clinton’s advisory board on “One America.” 

The late Dr. Burdett “Bird” Loomis was an Emeritus Professor of Political Science at the University of Kansas.  He wrote extensively on legislatures, interest groups, and political institutions. Dr. Loomis published 30 books in various editions, including Time, Politics, and Policy: A Legislative Year, an examination of the Kansas Legislature. He lectured widely for the U.S. State Department and held the Australian-American Distinguished Chair in American Politics at Flinders University. He founded the KU DC intern program in 1984 and directed the Topeka legislative intern program for more than 30 years.  Dr. Loomis’ final, edited book, The Arc of Politics, will be released by the University Press of Kansas in 2022.  It covers Kansas politics from 1960 to the present day and features contributions from several current and former IK authors including Loomis himself.

Dr. Alexandra Middlewood is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Wichita State University. Her research interests include gun politics, public opinion, political behavior, and gender. Her teaching interests include American politics, civic engagement, public opinion, gender and politics, and Model United Nations. Dr. Middlewood is also the Associate Executive Director of American Model United Nations International. A native of the Flint, Michigan area, she has called Kansas home since 2016. She lives in Wichita with her husband and their dog, Max.

Dr. Patrick Miller is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Kansas.   His research interests include identity in politics, partisanship and partisan identity, political behavior, and political civility.  His teaching interests include political psychology, public opinion, campaigns, elections, and voting behavior, political communication, research methods, survey methodology, and experimental methods

Dr. Michael Smith is a Professor of Political Science and Chair of Social Sciences, Sociology, and Criminology at Emporia State University.  His research interests include voting laws, Kansas politics, and teaching methods.  His teaching interests include American politics, political theory and philosophy, campaigns and elections, and state and local government.  Dr. Smith is the author, co-author and editor of several books, most recently Much Sound and Fury or the New Jim Crow? (SUNY Press, forthcoming 2022).  In addition to writing for IK, Dr. Smith appears regularly on television and radio programs in Kansas and western Missouri doing political analysis, including Kansas Week (KPTS), I’ve Got Issues (KTWU), and Up to Date (KCUR).